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>> we gather today full of hope. yesterday from the steps of our capital, voices of optimism, courage, faith, dedication, tolerance, sensitivity and love filled the ears and hearts of americans all over the nation. we were reminded of the compelling values of the founders of this great country, and inspired to pursue those values and our own towns, schools, offices, and in our homes. made all of us eagerly answer this were the call. we gather today full of hope, as
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we ask god's blessing on our president, barack obama, and all of those people who join him in his efforts to make real your vision, the vision of a world of justice, righteousness and pea peace. today we ask god's blessing, too, on the leader of this auspicious group, democratic nationadebbiewasserman schultz,e democratic national committee, and her officers. made their deeds wheeled morality and peace in our world. lord, we call you by many different names, and you speak to us in many different ways. look with favor upon all of us on this day. bless us as one. we pray as this almost dead. made a holy want to establish the work of our hands, and may the work of our hands established the holy one in our world.
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amen. >> amen. [applause] >> thank you, rabbi schwartzman. now i'd like to recognize alexis herman. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you so much. and i am so very pleased to announce after yesterday's glorious inauguration and perhaps a late-night celebration that 317 democratic national committee members have registered in person for this
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meeting, and where 47, for a total 364 out of 460 members. so yes, madam chair, our democratic national committee is here at it is about our president. take back the house, elected democrats at every level of government and fight for our values for 100% of the american people. thank you. thank you, madam chair. [applause] >> thank you, secretary. the next item on the committee's agenda is the report from the credentials committee. i'd like to recognize co-chairs to give us an update on this. >> in a.
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>> thank you, madam chair. on the have of the rest of the potential committee we are honored to present our report. >> the credentials committee received a challenge to the election of dnc members from the state of georgia, and a challenge to the election process used in the election of dnc members from virginia. >> most of these challenges were received in a timely fashion, and reviewed by the credentials committee co-chair. after reviewing each of these challenges, the co-chairs determined that neither of the challenges have merit and the members under challenge were to comment to be properly elected members of the democratic national committee. >> with that, we now recommend to this body the adoption of the credentials committee report as presented. thank you, madam chair.
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>> thank you very much to both of the co-chairs. the chair will entertain a motion to improve -- approved the report of the credentials committee. second? no further discussion to all those in favor say imac. all opposed? the ayes have it. at this time -- thank you very much for your service. at this time i will take my seat and ask out amazing vice chair for voter participation to chair this portion of the meeting, donna brazile. [applause] >> thank you. good morning or good afternoon. some of us had a late-night shaking a tail feather. [laughter] >> let me see. thank you, debbie. well, it's almost time for us to
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select our offices but before we do that we must adopt some rules to guide this process. you should have received copies of the rules of procedures for the election of dnc office. these rules detailed the different procedures -- you didn't get it? we sent it electronically. right behind those inaugural tickets or ball tickets. so when you're shopping for your down or tuxedo, we sent them out. staff assured. okay, okay. but let me, let me emphasize that we have copies of those rules are pretty future. i know where they rules and bylaws committee sub meeting back in september. they ushered everything was appropriate and then we send it out at that time. these rules detailed different
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procedures and provisions on nominations, and, of course, voting. i would now like to recognize my -- the esteem co-chairs, my colleagues on the rules and bylaws committee, this jim roosevelt, and the honorable -- to walk us through the process and the rules as they were sent to you that will guide us through this process. madame herman and honorable roosevelt, are you here? good. because i can't read beyond the. without my glasses on.
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>> thank you very much, madam vice chair. thank you, madam chair. my co-chair, secretary alexis herman and i are here today to recommend the adoption of the rules of procedure. even though today's election for dnc officers are uncontested we must still conduct these elections in accordance with certain procedure rules. last month, the rules and bylaws committee drafted the proposed rules and then voted by mail ballot to recommend the rules for adoption by this full meeting. the proposed rules were sent to dnc members via e-mail on december 21, 2012, i secretary alice germond and there are copies available here for you today. the rules recommended by the rbc for adoption by this full dnc are essentially the same rules to dnc has use for these elections since chairman brown's election in 1989, with my
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modifications to allow for unique circumstances we face at this meeting. now i will turn to secretary herman for an explanation of the rules and procedures. >> good morning, and thank you very, very much, jim. jim has outlined a process of how we will begin. i will start with reminding this body of the specific provisions that are contained in our charter and bylaws that guide the election of officers for party. after that, my co-chair will come back to the podium and then review with this body what we are specifically recommending in the elections today. so first i shall remind this body that the rules of procedure contain the following key
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provisions. first, the candidate for any dnc office position had to file a nomination statement with the dnc secretary by 8 p.m. sunday, january 20, 2012, and that includes -- i'm sorry, 2013. that really would have been a problem. that included signatures of at least 20 dnc members. each candidate for chair is entitled to a total of 10 minutes for nominating and seconding speeches to be divided among no more than four speakers, all of whom must be dnc members. each candidate from the other officer position shall be entitled to a total of five minutes for nominating and seconding speeches which may be divided among no more than three speeches. the majority of the full membership of the dnc present in person, which for this meeting
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even means they're in this room or by proxy that shall constitute a quorum, provided that at least 40% of the membership is present. no dnc member may hold more than one proxy. all proxies must be in writing and signed, and must be submitted to the dnc secretary prior to the commencement of a vote. no proxies or transfer of proxies will be accepted by the party secretary while a vote is being conducted. the dnc officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the dnc members present or by proxy, and the chair shall be the first office that is elect elected. in voting to elect the chair, voting may be conducted by a visual standing vote or by other means of division. if the chair is endowed, as to
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the results -- is endowed, the voting will be conducted than by a roll call by our secretary. now, those are the standing provisions of what we must do for the election of our offices. my co-chair without recommend procedures to govern this election process. >> following the election of the chair, the rules provide for the election of the other party officers. elections will be conducted for vice chair for voter registration and participation. the three other vice chairs, treasurers, secretary and national finance chair. the rules and bylaws committee recommends this body, the adoption of the rules of procedures as distributed.
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we also recommend that the rules be suspended because, as you are aware, the slate does not currently conform to the charter. so that the rules be suspended, and this is a procedure that has been utilized in the past, that the rules be suspended except with respect to the chair, so that a charter amendment and a ratification vote of the slate voted on today can be adopted at our next full meeting of the democratic national committee. that is the report of the rules committee. [inaudible] >> thank you, jim and alexis, and all members of the committee
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of the rules and bylaws committee for your service and for your part you play to ensure that the election of our officers is done through a fair and open process. the chair will entertain a motion to adopt the rules and procedure as printed. do i hear a second? is there a second? is there any discussion? yes, sir. spent hello, madam vice chair. does that include the rules about suspension of the rules regarding issues other than that your speakers know. i believe this is only a discussion of the rules -- just? yes. >> thank you very much, ma'am. [laughter] >> i needed interim chair a lot longer to get comfortable. [laughter] all right.
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okay, seeing none, all those in favor please signify by saying aye. all those opposed? the ayes have it and the rules of procedures have been adopted. in accordance with the rules of procedure that this committee has just adopted, it is now in order for us to move us to the election of officers. at this time when i move to the election of the dnc chair. secretary germond has informed me nominate decisions were filed pursuant to the rules of procedure for one candidate. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. the congresswoman wasserman shows is entitled for 10 minutes for nominating and second in speeches. that's good. [laughter] the chair when i recognize dnc treasurer andy tobias. you make him appear and -- you
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may come up here and the couple spent thank you madman from a chair. and fellow dnc members. i stand before you today still high up with pride and hope from yesterday's inauguration, and like you, inspire to continue the work to which we are all committed. toward that end i have the honor to place into nomination for chair of our party a woman who was a democrat from head to toe. [applause] you see what's coming. the head part you all know, whether quick mind are as a tough effective talking head on sunday shows, or by virtue of votes we cast here four years ago, the head of the oldest continuous party on the planet. that do part you may not know but i'm pleased to reveal to you now. the woman whom i nominated he wears a size seven pair of powder blue new balance running shoes emblazoned on the left back heel of which is the word
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folk. and emblazoned on the ride back heel of which is the word democrat. seriously, she really does. she runs, we follow. one foot after the other and my adopted state of florida and around the country, vote democrat. she has been doing this for four years inspire me people from miami to maine and michigan to montana. vote democrat, and so it is my special privilege today to place into nomination for chair of the democratic party my friend in florida congresswoman, a democrat from head to toe, congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. the chair now, they interim chair now recognizes colorado national committee man anthony
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for the purpose of seconding this nomination. [applause] >> thank you madame interim chair and thank you to the colorado delegation for that warm reception. [laughter] it is a great honor to recommend the nomination of our and comfortable chair, congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. as the coloradan i always admired debbie wasserman schultz from afar. but over the last two years it has been a real treat to see her up close and personal on several visits our great state. helping remind coloradans why they put their trust in president barack obama for four years comment why it was important to trust them once again. every single day of the campaign, she was a fierce advocate for president obama, and democrats from all walks of life. whether it was tingling with republicans on tv, traveling to every corner of the country on behalf of our candidates, or
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raising the funds necessary to win. i was inspired by her tireless advocacy, the size of her heart, and the ferocity of her spirit. i know that this is no surprise to many of you. throughout her career, whether it was being the youngest woman elected to the florida legislature, representing florida in congress, or her remarkable fight against breast cancer, our chair has always exhibited courage and strength in the face of tremendous obstacles. that is why debbie wasserman schultz is the chair our party needs as we begin president obama's second term. she will be instrumental in the president's push for immigration reform, clean, renewable energy, reducing gun violence, and building an economy that last -- get this -- from the middle out. for all these reasons, and many more, it gives me great pleasure
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to second the nomination of congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz to serve a second term at the helm of the democratic national committee. [applause] >> thank you. the chair now recognizes a member of the dnc spanish cauc caucus, for another session and speech. by the way, i'm not trying to hog the stage. if you want to come up here, feel welcome. >> i am okay. thank you very much. good afternoon, everyone. i am very honored. i come from the great state that gave you the most marvelous president, barack obama. [applause] >> i am also proud to join my fellow democrats nominating congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz for the chair of democratic national committee. while my home is illinois,
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florida is very close and dear to my heart. my family is smart enough to move out there 20 years ago, so i consider you my congresswoman, too. i've always, i thought of debbie wasserman schultz as my second congressman. it is my honest -- honor to nominate such and -- to continue leading our party. serving the people of florida for nearly two decades, congressman debbie wasserman schultz has fought tirelessly for america's children, senior men and women in uniform, known for her tenacity and strength in the face of tremendous challenges, there is no one better equipped to lead our party at this most important time. deadbeat brings an unparalleled energy and dedication to our party, and i look forward to continue our work together and ensuring that the democratic party continues to grow stronger
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and more dynamic than ever. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, madam chairwoman. for your outstanding work and helping us get such a large turnout of hispanic voters for the democratic party in 2012. now for our final second speech, the chair when i recognize -- from maryland, chair of the dnc asian-american pacific caucus. >> thank you, madam interim chair. i hope you all came to me. we went from the tallest to the shortest here. so i have all a bit of a challenge making sure i can fit the microphone. so good afternoon, everyone. i am proud to join my fellow democrats in nominating congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz for chair of the democratic national committee. as chair of the democratic national committee,
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asian-american and pacific islander caucus, i know from experience how committed chair debbie wasserman schultz is to ensuring that all groups are represented fairly and our party. she understands that the diversity of our party is one of our greatest strengths. and during her time as chair, she has worked tirelessly to ensure that all voices are heard in the democratic party. she really, really gets it. chair wasserman schultz has supported diversity in our party, not only in her words but also in her actions. under her leadership the dnc hired a chief diversity officer for the first time in its history. and she was strong supporter of ensuring that minority-owned businesses were part of our convention in charlotte.
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and she injured all dnc constituency caucus chairs were part of the process in a cheating fair and equal representation of minority-owned businesses at the charlotte convention, to showcase the best of our values as democrats. chair wasserman schultz, leadership on the issue, was absolutely invaluable. i am so excited to be able to second her nomination as chair of the democratic national committee today, because i believe she's an incredible leader for our party. i was one of the first to congratulate her when she was first elected chair us last time, and i'm absolutely honored to enthusiastically second her nomination today. chair debbie wasserman schultz has been a fairness leader for our party, and a strong supporter of president barack obama. she worked tirelessly to reelect
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the president, and was a fierce advocate for our core democratic principles. she is committed to ensuring women represented in our party, and the leadership of our country. and the democratic party is stronger because of her efforts. she is not only a role model for our sisters, our daughters and granddaughters, but she is my personal hero on many, many levels. for all these reasons i proudly nominating congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz to continue serving as the chair of the democratic national committee. [applause] >> i would also like you now to turn your attention to the screen, because there's a short video. spent we did know hollywood could get so quickly here in washington, d.c. we have an excellent video. it's now on the list for best
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picture. [laughter] but i would hope if you just give us a few minutes of your time to see this wonderful and remarkable video, that we have made in honor of a phenomenal woman, our chairwoman, debbie wasserman schultz. dim the lights and grab a hanky while we watch this video. [laughter] >> it's coming, ladies and gentlemen,. >> debbie wasserman schultz to be the next chair of the democratic national committee. >> we are seeing a woman had the democratic national committee during a presidential year. speech he is a rising star. a great fundraiser. >> this is my first time to have the privilege of being in iowa covering the first time at the
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state fair. >> the chairwoman of the democratic national committee. >> i'm thrilled to be here in toledo. >> it's great to be here in wind more. >> and outstanding congresswoman and the chair of the democratic national committee, debbie wasserman schultz. we love her. >> the 46 meeting of the democratic national committee will now come to order. >> like every breast cancer survivor, i now have a preexisting condition. so when president obama passed health care reform, it was personal. and governor romney says he would repeal obamacare and put insurance companies back in charge of a woman's health, that is personal, to. >> debbie wasserman schultz joins me live spent good afternoon. barack obama's fight is for the middle-class and working families. we've had 29 straight months of job growth now.
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>> president obama was resolute and clear, and he showed that as commander-in-chief he's been able to reestablish relationships and alliances that were in pattern spent election day is 51 days from today. >> we need to do everything in our power to out vocal lies, out organize and out work the other side. >> we are focused on executing the largest most significant grassroots presidential campai campaign. we have eclipsed them in early voting. we ran circles around them on the ground game. >> raise your hand if you have already voted. that's what i'm talking about. >> we still have voters in line across the country we encourage them to stay in line. >> barack obama will be reelected president of the united states. you will remain in the white house for another four years. >> he had nice words to say about you today for now menu for another term. a lot going on. >> we have a lot going on in the country. i feel privileged and honored.
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♪ [applause] >> wow. ladies and gentlemen, we have copies of that dvd, and you can see me later, give me your address. i will send you a copy in the mail just like you got the rules of procedures. you will get it. [laughter] look out for it. before we move to a vote, it is my honor and privilege as the interim chair to talk to you for a few minutes, oh, yes, like every baptist preacher in this room, i was told i could go sl slow, -- and set my you know what down. and i will do that. but i wanted to first of all thank, not just debbie wasserman
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schultz for her outstanding leadership, it's not often that you get a chance to work with a woman who, in many ways, out works you. a woman who is willing to outfox a fox when i'm just willing to look like a fox. [laughter] to "meet the press," day in and day out, national tv, regional tv, satellite tv, radio, to crisscross this great country to be at your events, your state, stand up and bear witness to so much that is happened over the last four years, developing the obama administration, our president, our vice president with their agenda, with talking about the need for more jobs. of course, have always been amazed that debbie understood
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the health care law better than anyone and was willing to share her thoughts to me when i can understand the confusion that some are starting to create, because they had not read the bill but she did. .. [applause] pleasure. >> but debbie and i went to the republican national convention -- the she was in florida, so when hurricane isaac was trying to blow through, debbie just said not now, not here, please, and she stopped that hurricane from blowing through there. [laughter]
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amazing woman, i can tell you that much. so i am also happy to announce my support for my leader and to return this gavel in a few minutes back over to her so that i can go back to doing what i enjoy doing, which is running my mouth. [laughter] on cable television. [laughter] i'm available. [laughter] [applause] >> you're doing a great job! >> thank you, boo boo. [applause] and teaching my students, studies at georgetown university. but before i continue with this process, i just wanted to also thank the members of the presidential inaugural e committee who provided us with our tickets. i hope you all got seated. if you didn't, see them. [laughter] and their amazing work in really putting together a very exciting
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weekend here in our nation's capital. i want to thank them for the day of service that not only took place here in washington, d.c., but across the united states of america. millions of people signed up, volunteered and made a difference. dr. martin luther king jr. would have been proud that we used his birthday weekend not just to party and celebrate, but to remember what he called us often to do and that, ladies and gentlemen s to serve. and to answer the call. and, yes, i want to thank the dnc staff and others who worked throughout the christmas and throughout the holidays to insure that we also had a good time as well. [applause] and so my, my only thing, i was
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working yesterday. you want me to shut up, debbie? was, you know, i -- because, you know, i can talk all day because i'm baptist every day but catholic on sunday. the most remarkable thing about the president's speech was how inclusive it was, the fact that the president of the united states of america talked about us, the people of america. and he affirmed yesterday what our framers have placed in the constitution, that we are equal in the eyes of god. and yet some of my fellow pundits add some problems when he mentioned seneca and selma and, of course, they had some issues. i wanted to figure out wafs the president -- what was the president talking about when he said that gays and lesbians deserve equality now as well?
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this president understands what justice and freedom should look like in our country. he inspired us with his words. [applause] but he also summoned us, he summoned us to action, and he called upon us to continue our work on behalf of the poor, on behalf of the marginalized, on behalf of those who are still struggling in this economy. and i know you will answer that call. i was also proud of our president when he said our journey, our journey's not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. [applause]
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i was most proud when he talked about equal pay. [applause] for women. we deserve to have equal pay. [applause] and i thank lily ledbetter for bringing me home last night. there's nothing like equal pay when the woman's driving know her way around the town i live in. [laughter] good woman, y'all. i'm going to work harder for the implementation of the lily ledbetter act. and i was also proud, especially on this day, the 40th anniversary, debbie, if i'm not mistaken, of the most important -- well, there's so many important supreme court decisions. but in 1973, ladies and gentlemen, 1973 roe v. wade, we
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sell l bait that as well. and we're not going back. [cheers and applause] all right. i got all of that cleared up. [laughter] is interim chair, lord knows you get your moments. but i don't want any of this detracting from my 15 minutes, because when my time come, i want all my minutes. this is not part of my minutes, this is debbie's, but i'm helping. as any good woman would do for another sister. [laughter] so at this time, the chair would suspect the motion to suspend the rules and let congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz as chair of committee by acclamation. >> so moved! >> hallelujah, so moved. all those in favor signify by
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saying aye. >> aye! >> all those opposed? good. that sounded pretty unanimous to me. ladies and gentlemen, fellow democrats, it gives me great pleasure. please help me congratulate our reelected chair of the democratic national committee, congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz! [cheers and applause] it is my pleasure again to turn the meeting back to our fearless leader, debbie wasserman-schultz, to conduct the rest of this meeting. so moved, hallelujah! [cheers and applause] >> thank you so much. thank you all. so much. donna, thank you so much for preaching -- [laughter] the democratic party gospel. and talking about our values and what this election means not just for democrats, but for america. and thank you all so much for being here today, for
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recommitting yourself as democrats to our common goal and for helping me over the next four years in making sure that we get off to an exciting start. i'm honored and humbled by the confidence demonstrated by president obama and by all of you in nominating me to continue to serve as chair of this great democratic party. andy, anthony, iris and belle, thank you so much for your very kind words. i'm grateful for the friendships that we've forged during our time together at the dnc, day in and day out you have been phenomenal partners in maintaining the core progressive values that define the democratic party, the oldest and most dynamic political party in the history of the world. now, let me also take a moment to thank my wonderful, incredible, amazing family. [applause] who i can't see past the speaker
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over there, but they are over there. my incredible husband, steve. so many of you have herald me tell the story -- heard me tell the story of how steve will be i actually thought the first jewish saint, but it turns out there actually is a jewish saint, so steve will be the second jewish saint. and my three incredibly amazing, wonderful, smart, talented, awesome kids; rebecca, jake and shelby. [applause] who are all here. let me tell you, they have made huge sacrifices to help me be able to go out and fight the good fight side by side with all of you every day. and, you know why we all do this at the end of the day is to make the world a better place. and that is what i've tried to instill, what steve and i have tried to instill in our children so they understand why mommy has to be away a little bit measure my day -- little bit more than my day job takes me back and forth to washington d.c. they have been really incredible
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not only in their understanding, but in coming along and beginning the next generation of young americans who are going to be in the fight with us to insure that the next generation can live the american dream. so to my amazing family, thank you so much. i love you. [applause] and thank you. now, on behalf of all of us here today, let me thank our departing dnc officers for their tremendous service to our party and country. linda chavez thompson. [applause] >> linda has not only served as our vice chair for 16 years, but
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has been an unwavering advocate for the labor movement in this country for far longer. the first person of color to be elected to one of the afl-cio's highest officers, linda is a trail january blazer -- trailblazer who will continue to fight for the progressive values we all believe in. thank you so much for your service to the democratic party, to the brothers and sisters of the labor movement and to women all across this country who stand on your shoulders. thank you so much, linda. [applause] alex lamont has served three term as secretary of the democratic national committee. [cheers and applause]
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>> alice has been an unyielding advocate for democratic party values throughout her career. alice's distinguished leadership as secretary of our party has been unparalleled. she's transformed our party for generations. alice has been an incredible role model for women leading the historic effort to put geraldine ferraro on the democratic ticket and fighting for women's rights, participating in every national consequence since 9 -- convince since 1974. alice has paveed the way to lead our party forward, and i can tell you on a personal note that i know i would not be standing at this podium as chair of the democratic national committee if it were not for the personal commitment and leadership to this party, to our country and to helping make sure that women all across this land have opportunities like never before because of alice. thank you so much. [applause] but i'm not done, i'm not done
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piling on about alice! she is really so amazing. alice, we're all fortunate that we will continue to benefit from your leadership, from alice's service and talents not just to our party, but also to the obama administration. i know we're all looking forward to hearing about the opportunities that you have in your future, which i'm sure will be many, and i know we can count on you to continue to be here fighting side by side with all of us and show us all what democrats are truly made of. so thank you, alice, so much for your remarkable, remarkable leadership. [applause] no, not quite yet. i have not just yet. okay. let me get organized. [laughter] hold on. [laughter] a little timeout here. >> you need my help again? >> i'm good, i'm good. [laughter] i can tap dance pretty well, madam interim chair, myself.
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jane stetson. our national -- [applause] jane has not only worked tirelessly to help elect democrats to state and national office, but she's dedicated herself to improving the lives of children, their families and their communities. jane, as all of us know, is a dedicated philanthropist, civic leader and an unmatched health care advocate, a fellow breast cancer survivor, a sister suffer viefer and just a sister, period, who has worked and touched the lives of countless american children. so thank you so much, jane, for all that you've done, for helping with andy's help making sure that this party had the resources that we needed to run the most unprecedented
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grassroots campaign in history. thank you so much. [applause] let me thank my congressional colleague and friend mike honda who has exemplified what it means to be a public servant. [cheers and applause] mike has exemplified what it means to be a public servant during his tenure as dnc vice chair and especially as congressman from california's 15th district. [applause] met me tell you something -- let me tell you something, i have had an opportunity to serve in congress with mike and watched his advocacy and his passion and his commitment to his constituents to diversity, to making sure that we keep our citizens safe from harm, and it has been an absolute privilege
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to serve, and i will continue to serve side by side with him on the house committee on appropriations. mike is a fearless leader who's answered the call to serve throughout his career. his work on issues from education and transportation to civil rights and national service has advanced the causes of our party immeasurably. please join me in thanking our retiring officers. [applause] they have done a remarkable service for the entire country. [applause] >> now, let me introduce our slate of new dnc officers. they are a talented, dedicated and passionate group of people who will strengthen and energize our party. maria elena will serve as vice
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chair of the dnc. maria's work as executive secretary-treasurer at the los angeles county federation of labor and years of service reaffirm our party's steadfast commitment to american workers. maria will strengthen the already-powerful bond between the dnc and our brothers and sisters in the labor movement. my friend, congresswoman gab earth of hawaii, with your support today will serve as ice varian. a-- vice chair. along with our colleague of illinois is also one of the first female combat veterans to serve in congress. [applause] congresswoman's story is an inspiration and showcases the best of our party's values. i look forward to serving with her both at the house of representatives and as an officer at the dnc.
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baltimore mayor stephanie rollings blake will serve as is secretary of the democratic national committee. payor rollings blake was the youngest person ever elect today the city council. she's made baltimore a stronger city through her focus on improving public safety, education and strengthening city neighborhoods. tiffany's leadership will continue our trucks of strong democratic women leaders and advance our longstanding commitment to education. henry munoz, with your support today, will serve as national finance chair. as chairman of the board and chief creative officer of munoz and company, he leads one of the largest and olders minority-owned design practices in the country. as national co-chair of the turturro fund, he helped with the president's re-election campaign insuring that democrats had the resources to fight for our shared values.
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henry has both the experience and tenacity to help democrats win at every level of government. and last but not least my friend and sometime interim chair of democratic national committee, donna brazile, who is once again going to serve us as vice chair for voter protection and voter enfranchisement. [cheers and applause] thank you. donna is so incredibly special to us that she gets those extra adjectives on the end of her title, and she deserves every one of them because she has been an incredible, passionate advocate for making sure that the voiceless have a voice, for making sure that when it comes to enfranchising as many people as possible, insuring that the fiasco that too many voters experienced in the last election will never again can occur, making sure that even in america has an opportunity to succeed not just the people who are
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already successful. donna brazile has been a remarkable democratic leader, a remarkable american leader, and i'm proud to know that she's going to continue to serve us. so i look forward to serving with each of you, and please join me in congratulating all of them as we move forward. [applause] i want to also -- thank you very much. i want to also take a moment the ask you to stand and cheer for the too often unheralded talents and dedication of the staff of the democratic national committee and my congressional office as well. please join me in thanking them for their remarkable efforts. they make all of us look good, and we could not do what we do every day without our state party staff and our national party staff. thank you so much. [applause] all of us know that no one has worked harder and no one has done a better job for their country than all of our staff has done this past year. and last but not be least, to every single person in this room today, thank you from the bottom
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of my heart for helping me keep a very important promise. it's a promise i made two years ago when i had the honor to be asked by president obama to serve as dnc chair. i vowed that no one would outwork us, and together we kept that promise and then some, didn't we? [applause] we sure did. the results of that hard work speak for themselves. in the house of representatives, despite republican redistricting, we beat back the tea party in states like california, minnesota, illinois and my home state of florida. [cheers and applause] in the senate we picked up seats in massachusetts and indiana and won tough races in places like montana, north dakota, virginia and missouri. [applause] and, of course, let's not forget the crowning achievement, something we've been celebrating all weekend long. together we reelected president barack obama! [cheers and applause]
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and while we celebrate these enormous victories, it's important to remember not just what we did, but how we did i. when we talk about the fact that together we built the largest, most dynamic grassroots campaign in the history of american politics, that's not just a sound bite, right? behind that statement are the personal stories of millions of everyday americans fighting for the future of the country that we love. day after day all across the country i heard those stories firsthand. in des moines, iowa, i spoke with a woman who, like too many women in this country, had been the victim of pay discrimination. but because she had heard the story of lil' ri led better who found the courage to speak up when she discovered she was being paid less than her male counterparts for doing the exact
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same work, this woman did not back down. in fact, it inspired her to get more involved, get involved with the campaign in des moines and to bravely share her stories with voters across the state just like she did with me that day. in parma, ohio, i met a retired autoworker who was spending his newfound r and r time coming into the local ofa office every single day. he knew president obama had fought for him and for so many other hard working americans by rescuing the automobile industry, and he wanted to be sure that he return ored the favor. in every corner of the country from sarasota to milwaukee, from seattle to cincinnati, i met so many truly amazing individuals who were proud to come up to me and say they were casting the first vote of their lives, and it was a vote for president obama. it became clear that for so many people and in so many different ways this election was personal. and it was personal for me too both as a mom raising three kids and as a breast cancer survivor.
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because we succeeded in reelecting our president, millions of americans across the country will no longer be denied coverage because of their pre-existing conditions. [cheers and applause] never again. and that is very personal for all the people whose lives will be saved because they will be able to have health insurance to fight future illnesses. it is for these and countless other reasons that we all fought so hard in this campaign. so what now? where will we walk together over the next four years? as president obama told us yesterday, there is much to do. we must continue the critical work of rebuilding our great nation. as he said, america's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands; youth and drive, diversity and opennesses, an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. we are made for this moment, and we will seize it so long as we seize it together. that means caring for our troops and veterans who put themselves
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in harm's way to defend the nation they love. [applause] and we thank them for it. that means creating new jobs for hard working americans and continuing to invest in education and other programs vital to the middle class. it also means fixing our infrastructure, reforming our immigration system and addressing climate change in a comprehensive way. and it means we must take action to protect our children and our communities by working to prevent and reduce gun violence. [applause] thank you. together as democrats we will build on the president's successes by building on our success as a party. finish one of the powerful lessons that we learned from our victory this cycle is that we can't start from scratch every four years. i'm thrilled that the president has announced that ofa will not end with the 2012 election, but will live on as organizing for action, complementing the work we will continue to do here at the democratic party.
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organizing for action will enable us to keep our volunteers engaged to help pass the president's legislative agenta while training the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders across the country. i know i've talked with so many of you countless times, and we've experienced this in florida and all across the country. as a candidate, it can be incredibly frustrating that every time we're done with an election we have to stand up right from scratch and remotivate people all over again at the start of the next election. ofa will enable us to keep those volunteers engaged, mobilized and organized and get more of those grass roots volunteers getting involved in campaigns so that our work at the democratic party can continue to be about electing democrats up and down this ballot. with this new structure in place, the democratic party and the democratic national be committee specifically will focus our resources and our energy on our core mission, building a stronger, more dynamic democratic party in all
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50 states so we can elect more democrats to office at all levels of of government. and we'll work closely with ofa for all of the political veterans in this room. when you care about issues, you're going to get involved in elections. and when you win elections, you need a vehicle to advocate for the issues that matter most. we will march forward with ofa to build the strongest progressive beachhead ever seen by electing leaders across the country whose values match our hearts and whose determination needs our commitment. together we will reach more americans, engage more activists and build more momentum. we will build on our success in 2012 by reaffirming our unprecedented outreach to women from all walks of life. thank you. [applause] thank you. we'll do that by combining the women's leadership forum and the women's institute to form a strengthened women's alliance that continues to highlight the real differences between democrats and republicans for
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women. and we will reach out and connect with women to solidify for them why they voted democrat in such overwhelming numbers and must continue to do so in election after election. we will continue to support our brothers and sisters in the labor movement. we will engage young americans -- [applause] yes, thank you. we will engage young americans across the country bulling a successful model -- building a successful model to nurture our next generation of democratic leaders. we'll do that in part by expanding on the success of gen 44, building a finance arm of the dnc that engages and mobilizes the next generation of democrats. we will continue the innovation that immigrants have brought to the american economy and insure a level playing field by continuing to fight for comprehensive immigration reform. [applause] and we will make it clear that democrats welcome dreamers who see america as a land of opportunity. [applause]
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for lgbt americans after years of dogged determination, our nation is finally seeing historic progress. we have the largest number of openly-gay members of congress and openly-gay united states senator and a president who stands up for lgbt rights. [applause] as democrats, our party will proudly continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our lgbt brothers and sisters as we continue this fight. as democrats we are proud that our party truly reflects the diversity of america. we should also be proud that our party made a commitment to insure that our diverse orty is reflected in our day-to-day o operations. by the way, it is no coincidence that this cycle we hired -- [inaudible] and exceeded our one-third diversity spend goal at the democratic national convention. and we have a president who leads the way. i could not have been more proud of our president more yesterday, particularly when he so eloquently reminded us that as americans our journey is not complete until it's complete for
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everyone. remember when he said our journey is not complete until our wyoming withs, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their effort, our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the lo we commit to one another -- the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. [applause] our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the hopeful immigrants who still see america as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our work force rather than expelled from our country. [applause] our journey is not complete, our journey is not complete until all our children from the streets of detroit to the hills of appalachia to the quiet lanes of newtown know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm. [applause] ree mark bl words. he also said that is our
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generation's task, to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happinesses real for every american. fellow democrats, the president has laid out our vision. we must give him the tools to succeed. that is our job. we need to elect a fair-minded leader who will support an agenda that moves this country forward. i know you know our efforts at the dnc are critical to the nation's success, but do you feel the urgency? do you feel it? >> yes! >> is it in your heart? are you ready? >> yes! >> are you ready to continue, or are you too tired? >> no! >> we are going to stand side by side and fight tooth and nail to make sure all the people that are going to try to tear the president down, that are going to throw roadblocks in our path, that don't want everyone in america to have an opportunity to be successful, that don't care about the working class families, we're going to remind them what the election was about, and we will insure that
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this president has our voices and our activism and our passion and our sweat and our work ethic. because we made sure that that was demonstrated in unprecedented ways this election. and i am so proud of all of our work together. thank you so much. [applause] thank you. thank you. so we will leave here -- [applause] thank you. we will leave here today renewed in our commitment and the promise of america, energized, energized by those possibilities. and i know that i am. and i know that our new party leadership is as well. so today as i thank you for e reelecting me to serve as your chair, i look forward to doing what we do best as democrats, outworking, outorganizing and outmobilizing our way to victory. together we will harness the unparalleled energy, enthusiasm and strategy that defined our campaign and channeled that
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momentum into progress. we're going to keep building the country we've within fighting for from day one where all things remain possible and where the american dream is truly within reach for everyone, not just a lucky few. together we will move forward in line with our leader with common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication and help create a percent america for general -- a better america for generations to come. thank you again for your support, for your friendship, for your guidance and for your commitment to the democratic party. let's keep working, and let's keep winning. on to more democratic history! thank you so much! [cheers and applause] thank you. thank you. >> parliamentary inquire, madam chair. parliamentary inquire. >> yes. >> where -- what is the status of the election of the remainder of the slate? >> we're getting to that. >> okay. [laughter]
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thank you. >> i'm going to continue with the meeting. thank you very much. before we get to that portion of the meeting, i'd like to acknowledge that we have officers who have also agreed to remain on the slate of officers, and that is andy, our incredible treasurer, and thank you, andy, for your very kind words of nomination. ray buckley, congratulations on your re-election as the president of of the state association of democratic parties. [cheers and applause] and r.t. rybak, the mayor of minneapolis and can one of our vice chairs who will be continuing as well. [applause] okay. there is just way too much paper here. [laughter] okay. the next item of business on the
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committee's agenda is the election of our vice chairs, treasurer, secretary and national finance chair. now, i understand that our slate of officers has been dually nominated. donna brazile for vice chair for participation in voter registration. r.t. rybak for vice chair. congresswoman chelsea gab bert, andrewton whereas for treasurer and henry munoz for national finance chair. the chair understands if this is the only slate of officers that has been dually nominated, accordingly, i would like to move to dispense with nominating and proceed to a single vote. at this time the chair would entertain a motion to us pend the rule -- to suspend the rules. >> so moved. >> the motion has been made. is there a is second? >> just a minute, madam chair? >> i'm getting there. >> thank you, ma'am.
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is there any discussion? >> yes, madam chair. >> yes. >> stephen o'leary, california. i would like to move to suspend the rules to separate out the election for the office of secretary until our next meeting of the dnc. >> second. >> second. >> okay. um, according to our rules we do not sent nominations from the floor. in order to be nominated, you actually have to have submitted the petition and accomplished 20 petitions which had to be done by sunday at 8 p.m. our rules don't allow for us to accept nominations from the floor or to do the election of officers separately because of that, because there's nobody else who is eligible to be nominated from the floor today. so with that -- >> madam chair -- >> all in favor of suspending the rules to elect the individuals on a single vote
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please say aye. >> aye. >> opposed, no? >> may i ask for a roll call, madam? >> the chair will now accept a -- [inaudible conversations] >> question of the rule of the chair. >> excuse me. excuse me. this is not how we conduct the meeting. i'm going to proceed with the rules, and i will ask for discussion, and when discussion is warranted, you will have your chance. >> point of order, madam chair? >> so moved. >> the chair has entertained a motion to elect these nominations by -- >> point of order, madam chair. >> is there a second? >> yes. >> is there any discussion? >> yes. >> now -- >> thank you, ma'am. >> -- is your opportunity. >> thank you, madam chair. >> acclimation means unanimous, doesn't it? >> it does, yes. >> okay. i'm not in favor of the acclimation. >> are you registering an objection? >> yes. >> okay. thank you. >> pad dam chair? >> is there any other discussion? >> i'm reading under the rules
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for elections under -- i did get the e-mail, under division -- section 1, under subsection c, let's see here, one second here, get back down there. c4, voting for secretary, treasureerer may be conducted by a show of hands or other means of division. the chair shall be endowed -- if the chair so shall elect or be endowed by the vote upon request of 25% of the dnc members voting, the voting be conducted by roll call. >> at this time i would like to ask if secretary -- [inaudible] will be given an opportunity to be heard before we continue the proceedings. is there objection? thank you. hearing none, secretary -- [inaudible] you have the floor. [laughter]
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[background sounds] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] finish
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[inaudible conversations] finish. >> okay. so -- >> madam chair? >> at this time, let's suspend with the election of the slate of officers, and i think it would be appropriate and fitting to give our retiring officers an opportunity to speak so that they can make sure that they have an opportunity to talk about tear really incredible commitment to the democratic party. so with your indulgence, i will ask my colleague, congressman mike honda, to join us at the podium. [applause] >> good afternoon, everybody, and thank you very much. for this opportunity. you know, everybody knows my story, my history about growing up in this country just before pearl harbor and then going true the interment camps and
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understanding that sometimes the democratic process does not work according to the constitution, and sometimes our government makes mistakes and sometimes on purpose. i'm here to share with you some of the reflections and thoughts i've had for the past couple days, and i just want to say one thing is that it's really been an honor and a real privilege to be able to serve as a dnc vice chair for the last nine years. the first step was because you voted me in, and that was an incredible process, because the very first meeting that we had on that, on that process was i came with just my business card, and i didn't know it was a full--blown process. full will- blown process.
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serving 40 years, in the beginning with howard dean, before that with terry mcauliffe and after that with tim kaine and now with my colleague, debbie wasserman-schultz. it's been an incredible journey for me as a person, but it's been a growing, um, experience for me as a person and as a policymaker. i want to let you know that when president obama was first elected into office, it was one of the most incredible moments, almost unbelievable. but standing in front of the podium in chicago that night in grant park i saw people crying. i knew why they were crying. it wasn't out of grief, but out of joy. and they were all folks over 50 years old. and others who were cheering were under 50. [laughter] you know, because they were or joyful too.
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so in my 71 years i've learned a rot -- a lot about government participation and some of the foibles that we have in our process. and i just want to say that it's been a incredible journey. i want to thank president obama for offering me and giving me that opportunity this last four years. because with your help we've been able to do a lot of things. and i feel that i was part of the instrument of change. do you remember when we first ran the association of state democratic chairs has insisted on one thing that changed the whole politics of this country in the democratic party, and that was the 50 states and territories plan. do you remember that? [applause] the chair listened, and it was a new direction, and we got rid of the red and blue consideration
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because of that and because of all that work that you've done, we've changed the complexion of this whole country. and we were able to get somebody who had the audaciousness to hope that he could be president. they call him an african-american guy, but he's from hawaii, folks, he's an asian. [laughter] [applause] he's the first asian-american president that we have. if you don't believe me, ask him. [laughter] [applause] so you allowed me to travel to 35 states and go into red states and apologize and say, you know, we're stopping this red and blue state thing. and it was at first scary, but all of a sudden i realized that it was a welcomed, welcomed visit to places like montana, nevada, north dakota, south dakota, alaska, you know, the eastern parts of washington and
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places where we didn't know that democrats were really strong. and one of the things i i learned and was, i was able to do as an asian-american was to find that we had pockets of asian-americans all through this country. and because of that, because of the -- you allowed me to do this that we were able to on op -- on top of all that bring into the fold asian-american democrats who in 1966 participated at 32%. and under obama all time that we worked together, obama had asian-american population at over 73% voting democratic. prison -- [applause] the dnc was a great part of that, and you allow me to be here and put my face on this podium and share in this opportunity in this country to tell our diaspora that we, too,
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are part of this process. being able to work with somebody like keith and the great leadership of belle. she has talkin' the committee to places that -- she has taken the committee to places that we've never been before. [applause] so all these nine years we've developed in the only the asian-american community, but in congress -- and debbie knows this -- that we're able to develop a tri-caucus, a caucus that works together. the african-american caucus, kpac and today along with the progressive caucus, we number over a hundred members that can make a difference and help barack obama realize the kinds of things that we all are fighting for. so it's with great pride that i want to share with you and thank you for your help on the first round and thank you for the support when it i was reappointd
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and thank you for the new slate coming in now. chelsea, who's going to be taking my place s is a service person who's serving in the military and in congress in both our services to this country and to our constitution and the things that we believe in. i think she will take the dnc leadership to new places. being of hindu religion and of saw samoan background, i think it's about time we had leadership from the furtherrest western part of our country that's represented through her in hawaii where we have great promises to be able to move the this country through the pacific rim and make sure that we have a democratic party that understands the pacific rim much better than we have in the past. so i look forward to a really great, diverse group.
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and i love to hear the names like munoz, durasno. those are good, great names. [applause] and what that means is this asian person with this asian face don't have to go to nevada and into new mexico and texas and speak spanish, because we already got some folks already part of this thing. and i just want to say to my friend lynn -- linda chavez, when we were campaigning the very first, thank you for letting me serenade you when i was first running. because without that ability to serenade you, i don't think anybody would have known who that asian guy was. [laughter] and i just have to tell you that y'all made it possible for a child of a sharecropper to be able to serve. thank you. [applause]
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>> in incomparable linda chavez notchson who has -- thompson who has spent decades fighting for the brothers and sisters of the labor movement and families all across this country. [applause] [speaking spanish] >> thank you so much. my words will be brief but very heartfelt to all of you. i've served 16 years as vice chair of the democratic party having been appointed by president clinton in 1997, and it's been a wonderful 16 years that i have spent in that position, absolutely delightful meeting and getting to know all of you. i've had so much fun. i choose to leave this position because i firmly believe that someone feeds to replace me who is on an everyday basis tending
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to the issues of working families in this country, and i believe that my sister, maria, will seven you well in that position. she's an activist, she is not shy like me. [laughter] in fact, more adventurous like like -- than i am, and i know all of you will welcome her into the fold as vice chair. i can't tell you how proud i am that someone from my hometown, from my home state, henry munoz iii, is going to be joining as the financial, national financial chair because he comes from san antonio. i've known him since he was about 6 years old, and i know things about him. so if anybody wants to ask me -- [laughter] so you can use it against him, make sure to see me after the meeting. but i want to tell you that i will continue to serve. i've been asked to continue to
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serve as treasurer of the seniors council. see what i'm related to? [laughter] but i can't -- i will do it with so much enthusiasm because there's so much work that needs to be done. so today i believe what i believe on a very high note. i have heard from many of of you who have approached me and said texas is the next battle ground, and for that i thank you so much. [applause] not only because texas is ready, but i'll be darned if i'm not going to help turn that state of texas blue. [applause] as i said, i leave on a high note. my high note is that we had a terrific labor turn in this last election. >> yes! >> we had a terrific latino outreach and election -- in this election. [applause] i will continue the fight. i will not -- no one will shut me up.
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i'll be six feet under before they do. and i am ready to continue to kick some republican -- [speaking spanish] thank you so very much. [laughter] [applause] >> you know, when i was first elected to the florida legislature which was 20 years ago, i was 26. and one of the, one of the things that was talked about so much back then was how tough it was for women to run for office because it was trouble, it was difficult for us to raise money. you know, women had trouble asking -- a lot of people had trouble giving to women. so having a national finance chair of the democratic national committee be not just a woman, but this woman, jane stetson,
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has been remarkable. she's helped us raise unprecedented sums of money. she has been relentless and tireless, and i can't thank her enough for all that she's done to help make sure that this election and previous and subsequent elections have been the success that they have. jane stetson. [applause] >> thank you so much, madam chair, for your extraordinary leadership and for the opportunity to serve with you these last four -- these last two years. it has been an extraordinary experience for me. you know, back in '06 i was working to elect our congressman from vermont, and a nice young senator came through and did a talk for us, and i remember thinking, my god, i have met the
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leader that i've been waiting for all my life. and so that when president obama announced that he was running for election, i vowed that i would do everything in my power to get him elected and then if, god willing, we had a second term, i would work with him the second term as hard as i could. um, so i am so incredibly proud that he has made it begun as our president -- again as our president, our leader. i have three children, and for all the children it was extremely important for me that we have this kind of visioning going forward for our cup. for our country. after an intense and trying and exhausting campaign that we just endured, um, and as i come to the end of my tenure in this position that i've really enjoyed so much primarily because i've met such wonderful people, i feel so grateful that i am a democrat -- [applause] because we have the nicest -- [applause] strongest, people working with
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us. it's tempting to think of the inauguration as a culmination at the end of the road. but in reality it's a new beginning. now that the president has taken the oath of office for a second and final time, we renew our accuracy, and -- democracy, and we renew our hope in the american experiment. in this second term as in the campaign, i would plead with you to keep your eyes fixed firmly forward, and over the next four years let's remember to keep, to have the president's back. the path ahead is not going to be easy. oh, my god, i've got a little, a little technical problem here. there we go. [laughter] the path will not be without speed bumps, and if the president is going to succeed, all of us need to be with him 100% and keep his back, stick together as we did in the last
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four years. um, i am so pleased with the new finance chair decision. henry munoz is not only a wonderful, wonderful human being, he's been a tireless worker for us in the democratic party. and i would just ask you all to please welcome him, offer your support. he will do a wonderful job for the democratic party, and i couldn't be happier to have him as my successor in the democratic party. and i just want to thank you all so much for this opportunity. i'm going to miss you all. i'm going to have a little staff bawl tonight and cry, and i will be here for questions if you need fundraising help, see me. [laughter] and i wish, i wish every -- the new officers the best, the best of luck and, um, again, thank you so much. [applause]
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>> thank you so much, jane. thank you, jane. i've asked secretary due monday if she would continue with service as secretary emeritus, and we look forward to her continued service. in addition, we look forward to hearing about the opportunities that we know she will have as she's begun discussions with the obama administration and will be looking forward to hearing about those opportunities as well. and, again, the incomparable commitment to democratic party values and to the success of democrats up and down the ballot is immeasurable when it comes to the name of alice fermofd. so -- germond. so, secretary?
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[applause] >> we want to get to the reception with our vice president, so if you please. and as some of you may have noticed, i jumped up a little earlier when our chair was so kind in her earlier remarks to have said a few words. i was anticipating the chance to speak with you for a moment. so i appreciate the opportunity to do that now. first, obviously, i want to thank all of you who are both my colleague, but more importantly my friends for the incredible warmth and support and, frankly, fun we have had both at dnc meetings and all over the country over these past many years. it has been just a true honor and joy. [applause] and because it is such a true honor and joy, i am honored to continue as secretary emeritus and as an at-large voting member
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of the dnc when we are putting together our new voting member b at-large groupings at our next meeting. [applause] more importantly, perhaps, i am incredibly proud -- and i'm very excited -- that i will be serving in the president's administration. i really look forward to sharing more about this with you as soon as i am able. l the third act of a great american story will be happening, and i just frankly can't wait to get started. so i will look forward to that with all of you working together. [applause] seriously now, and importantly, i urge your support for the slate that has been put before you today. or they are truly a good team;
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energetic, talented, familiar faces, fresh faces, all caring, passionate, committed democrats to this party, to the values we care about and to serving our nation. please, please, please give them your counsel. they will listen. give them your vote and help them as we commence on our great president's second term. and thank you again for the opportunity to serve. [applause] >> okay.
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um, for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> about the secretary's position in alice germond? >> um, why don't we do that when i get -- [inaudible conversations] okay. so what i'd like to do, with your indulgence, is go back to where we were at the beginning so that we're not starting in the midst of that. so at this time the chair would once again entertain a motion to suspend the rules in order to elect the vice chairs, treasurer, secretary and national finance chair on a single vote. >> so moved. >> all in favor -- >> madam chair? >> yes, i'm going to get to discussion, i promise you. so if that's what you'd like to do -- >> you can see the remaining few minutes of this on our web site, live now to the council on foreign legal conclusions for remarks -- foreign relations for remarks from senator dan coats,
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subcommittee on homeland security, he'll be addressing america's foreign policy objectives and how they might be affected amid debt and deficit concerns. this is just getting underway. >> before we start. you have to completely turn off, pot just put on -- not just put on vibrate, all those do dads like cell phones and blackberries. otherwise it'll interfear with the sound system, and you wouldn't want to miss a word i'm going to say. if you would like to use an ipad, there is -- you can do that outside. there's a space, i guess the folks outside the doors will direct you. there's an overflow room where you can see a live feed of the meeting. so you don't have to worry about that if you want to use one of those devices. and in contrast to some of our other meetings in the past, this one so on the record. is so don't blurt something out that you don't really mean or you can't defend later on,
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because it can be used against you. with that, let's welcome our guest, senator dan coats, who doesn't need push of an introduction -- much of an introduction. he's, obviously, somebody you all know. certainly not just because of his role in senate on the appropriations committee and his involvement with issues of foreign aid there, but also in his previous incarnation as u.s. ambassador to germany during the first half of the last decade in which there were a few interesting matters like iraq and so forth. senator coats, obviously, is very interested in transatlantic relations as a result of that experience and other experiences that he's had, and his concerns have led him to want to discuss the matter we're going to
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discuss today which is the interrelationship between the budgetary pressures and other pressures facing the united states and its role in the world. so, senator, thanks a lot for coming out this morning. >> thank you. >> whether i know it's not easy for you to get here in the snow either. i guess i'd like to just begin by, in a kind of a general way, asking you what is the concern, what's worrying you about the possible interaction between limited resources here, pressure to cut the budget and what that might do in terms of limiting the u.s. role abroad? >> well, the consequences of, i think, both a diminishing pool of resources available and all the fiscal pressures that are on the congress now in terms of the decisions they make on how to
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allocate funds and the prospectses for the future -- prospects for the future not looking all that good combined with, i think, a less and less engagement, knowledge of and participation in by members of congress in global affairs. whether it is national security, military-of related or whether it's foreign policy, aid related or diplomacy in our presence throughout the world. you know, if you look back to, say, congress can 20, 25 years ago, it was essentially made up of people who had a relationship to world war ii and its aftermath in terms of u.s. global engagement, the marshall plan and the rebuilding of japan and america's presence. and the relationship also, i
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mean, and the lessons and the threat posed by the cold war. and those were very defining, major umbrella issues that produced great statesmen, henry jackson and others, on a bipartisan politics at the water's edge, america's presence b and engagement around the world. two superpowers of the um real la that kind of -- umbrella was kind of held over the world and stifled the kind of regional and local factions and tensions that erupted after the end of the cold war. that all had a significant impact on the american people and commitment, i think, and support for the commitment for the u.s. to be a global, globally engaged, the superpower.
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um, it was the possibility of a five-alarm fire, and everybody's in to try to keep that from getting out of control. with the fall of the wall and the aftermath of that, there was a defining event, and that was the iraq incursion into kuwait. we saw the global presence put together by jim baker and george h.w. bush and the success of that in the engagement of the world's nations. but subsequent to that, um, we have seen a completely different scene, and that is what i would describe as the two alarmers or the three alarmers. and we've got about a dozen fires popping up here in different parts of the world. and all of a sudden you have people who don't have that previous, a lot of people in congress who don't have that previous reference or who
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basically have come to the conclusion the world has changed, and we really can't afford nor do we have the public support for global engagement. and so when you go back home and talk to people back home, they say, you know, why do we give so much foreign awed when it literally -- aid when it literally is like saying, you know, you need to diet and lose a lot of walking and say, well, i'm going to go get a haircut, and that'll solve the problem. the amount of foreign aid and the amount of foreign presence now is shrinking to the point where it's relatively insignificant compared to the whole. but yet the will to support that going forward and to even step out and say, well, we ought to be more engaged here, or we could do more here, these are the functions that are working, it's hard to get public support for that, it's hard to get
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congressional support for that. so i think the issue here, and it's a long way of getting to the point, and that is that what are the consequences of a diminished public support, diminishing public support? i think pretty well articulated by the president both in his campaign and postcampaign announcements. the signals are pretty clear, we're not going to be everywhere. we're not going to get into everything. in fact, we're going to retract. and the support of the american people, basically saying why are we there, why do we need to keep doing this? so whether it is maintaining forces or our presence in germany to be a staging point for all that's happening in the middle east, whether it's engaging in syria or not engaging in syria, whether it's leading from behind on libya, the pacific pivot, you know, it's more like a head fake, how do we begin to have the
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resources to address those potential easing threats -- rising threats in the future? all of that, i think, is something that feeds to be carefully looked at and talked through, and we need to be realistic about the fact that, um, the united states is not going to be engaged on a global basis given our current fiscal situation and given -- and given the current political will of the american people. >> well, obviously, there's an interaction between the resources that we have available and the political will we have. i mean, obviously, if we had infinite political will, we'd find the resources, i suppose. maybe vice versa. um, you in some of the speeches you've made recently i've been going over them, you talk a lot about nato and the fact that the experience in afghanistan is not -- >> it's not over yet. >> it hasn't been a terrifically happy one for nato and that that
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might sort of lead to a process in which we just don't have the will anymore or the intention to stay on the same scale we've been before particularly given the perception that our partners are not pulling their weight. how do you think we are going to be able to keep nato going? what would it take, in your view, to sustain nato and keep it relevant given our budgetary restrictions? >> well, i think an intervening event that poses a threat, um, we saw a little resurgence of nato in the libya situation where clearly the united states was not going to take the lead, was going to supply reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance and a little bit of back up. but it was either nato getting together and going forward or
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not. that was the threat of, you know, the threat of a destabilized libya, the immigration consequences of that for southern europe, the history with european presence there, that was the precipitating event. but i think it's going to take something similar to that. one issue that i think potentially could be that is the whole situation with iran and the pursuit of nuclear weapons and the fact that europe would be easily within the gun sights of -- and there would be significant consequences for those nation closest to the middle east with a nuclear-armed iran. >> well that's a little bit on the security side. you alluded to the development side and, of course, you know, when i think the general public talks about foreign aid, they kind of lump everything together. but i think when you're talking about the de minimis quantity of
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budget that's devoted to aid, that's what you have in mind, the development assistance. that is always going to be a vulnerable part of the budget. >> it is. >> i seem to recall joe biden saying during the '08 program we'll cut, i think he said it was foreign aid. tell us your view about how we can kind of put that one on a sustainable basis pretty create -- politically. how can you persuade the public it's being used efficiently, what are the things that are working and what are not? >> well, i think the keyword here is "efficiently." we have to demonstrate that the money b, the taxpayer money that is being sent overseas for foreign aid is, number one, in our strategic national interest. and we have to articulate what that interest is. secondly, i think we have to go beyond just sending the money so it gets deposit inside whoever leads that country's swiss bank account. that we have to demonstrate that that money is being effectively
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used to address certain things. give george w. bush significant credit for the millennial challenge corporation program, for pepfar, treatment of aids in africa. because they have set a set of standards that these are o our values, these are our standards. if you are able to enforce, implement and enforce those standards, we will provide you that support, and there's some very good success stories there. this is a difficult climate with which to go back home and tell people this is something that works, and it is in our national interest. we do have, we ought to have a moral commitment on on some of e tragic things that are happening from the standpoint of nutrition and disease and so forth. but as we see what's happening now in africa, particularly the
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islamic maghreb and the threats there and the changes that are or taking place, africa suddenly has become a place where we have more interest. i notice general walden's here. chuck was deputy secretary, sec-def in -- got my acronyms mixed up. he was deputy to jim jones and spent a lot of time looking at africa from the standpoint of his position in europe, kind of foreshadowing what was to come. and pleading, i think, for engagement and presence in dealing with what was happening there. now we're seeing some of the consequences of all that, all that playing out. and so we've got to make the case to the american people, we've got to show that we'refectively spending their -- we're effectively spending their money for the right reasons. it is international interest,
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and there's an underlying, i think, moral commitment to address some of these major nutritional, disease-related problems that in doing so america's presence is seen as a positive, not as a negative. >> you know, there's a whole other issue that's arising now because of the sort of backlash against the united states and u.s. installations in countries like pakistan and egypt which are heavy, large recipients of assistance from the united states. a large majority of that is military. but there is a point in this country that those people don't like us, they take our money and then they burn our flag, and let's just cut them off. obviously, there have been resolutions introduced, so forth. talk about how you think the country ought to respond to that
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very powerful sentiment. >> well, i think the common thread here is the presence of al-qaeda and its affiliates and the threat that poses to the world. from the standpoint of stability at peaceful transition of governments. and we're reminded of that almost every day. and it's this crescent that sweeps across the middle of the world starting in indonesia and coming all the way across now northern africa and now moving down into the sub sahara parts of africa. this is a threat that has enormous implications. we've seen that ignoring that threat as we did in afghanistan pre-9/11 leads to some dire consequences potentially for americans. it is true the american public is war weary, but nevertheless, we're reminded every day on cnn
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and other networks and journalists from "the washington post" -- >> the post mentions it sometimes. >> i want to get that mention in there. [laughter] that we're living in a different kind of world. it's hard to define where this threat is because it pops up everywhere. it's like whack-a-mole, you know? you whack iraq, and you think you get that settled, and all of a sudden you're back in afghanistan, and you do that, and all of a sudden we're having the arab spring, and then we're in libya and algeria and things are happening that pose real threats particularly at a time when the possibility of the combination of a weapon of mass destruction and terrorism can result in an attack on american presence whether it's there or whether it's here. it is a a threat that we, a grave threat that we have to keep reminding the american
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people that we're only one attack away from a terrorist attack using of mass destruction to, potentially, the total destruction of a major large u.s. city. we don't want to have to reengage our thinking and presence in how we use our security forces and diplomacy to address these kinds of things in a post, another post-9/11 scenario. >> well -- >> so doing it, doing it now ahead of time, i mean, addressing it now without just thinking, well, we're not going to be able to do that unless there's another defining event, um, could have horrible consequences. >> let's sort of follow up on that. i guess part of what you're saying is that there may be a sense that when we send a lot of money to a country, we should be entitled to, in the effect, loyalty or, you know, control and maybe even some kind of
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client-like status. it sounds to me -- >> it'd be nice if they said thank you. >> yeah, yeah. .. case to the american people with a will not continue to support it. >> the specter of corruption and so forth has always hung over
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foreign-aid. i think we have been saying this in different ways. what is new and now is again the public sense that we are being asked to cut back here. we are being told our entitlement and so forth need to be trimmed a phrase you often hear the president use and republicans as well is we need to start nation-building at home. i casually performed that poll extremely well, that line. not only a foreign-policy think about a politician, what politically is the effective counter to that? >> we have to acknowledge that yes, we have a lot of nation building to do here at home, that needs to be the priority. and that reality is going to affect the kind of resources we are going to have available to do the kind of global
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engagement, global diplomacy that we have seen in the past. we are severely resource constraint and politically constrained and we are going to have to prioritize and really make the case for whatever expenditures go out relative to military presence and spending more state and diplomacy and foreign aid spending. that is the reality we have to deal with and i believe we will be forced to make some hard choices in that regard. secondly, i would simply say as i say to virtually every interest group that comes into my office, here is the line.
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paulino resources are tight and we have to cut back but it is different from everybody else, that is universal. rather than argue with them i simply say i am not here to argue whether your program deserves priority over the last group that was in the program so whether it is bridges or road for medical research or education or any of the number of other things in the discretionary category including defense spending i simply say unless we have to come to the realization that unless we can address mandatory spending which is running away with a budget, ever shrinking ability to make decisions about how we use discretionary spending, unless we get control of that, everybody is going to fall short
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of what they want. i am not debating whether there's more to go into bridges or sewers or empty structure or whatever, i am simply saying all of that is being squeezed and therefore i am asking you to support your senator or senators or representatives in giving them the backbone and the courage, we have to address this or everybody loses and i think that is the message of the day. we had an election over that issue, a debate in congress over that issue, to this point of the president has not indicated post-election that he is all that enthused about addressing the mandatory spending issue and we can't get there until he does because without his leadership
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for what congress cobbles together in this regard it is not going to go forward. so that to me is the challenge of the day and that has a significant play on our national security, on our ability to fund our military so that it can engage where we needed to engage. we can solve everything through drones, has major implications on diplomacy, foreign-aid and in particular because it is down a priority list of american spending. that is the overarching issue and absent an intervening event like we had in 9/11 which all of a sudden that priority became number one and everybody rallied around, trust me we don't want that to be a reason, the impetus for changing policy. we want to do everything we can do to keep that intervening
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event from happening that causes us to reorient our thinking. >> got the idea for a new lobby, all the groups that depend on the discretionary budget together, happen from one giant lobby to gain the upper on medicare and that way they can save the money for their own thing. >> a coalition of discretionary. then marches down to the capital, tens of thousands of people saying wait a minute, and right after this meeting i will go out and start talking to some people to put together -- and -- >> to your campaign. >> just to wrap this up before we go to questions give us a little preview, we are right in the middle of a huge debate that
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will get even bigger. give us your best sense of how these accounts we are discussing are going to fare the next two or three months? >> not well. the sequester is looming. took the tactical position of taking the debt limit off the table for three months or so but the focus now will be on the sequestered. those that have been saying the budget control act, we can never let this happen particularly on the defense side or you will see enormous pressure to let it happen because everything else is stale and we have not been able to come up with a grand bargain and nothing in play right now, looks like the white house will accept on a grand
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bargain and given that, the sequester and continued resolution, the budget comes to in march, those two are going to have some draconian spending attached to it. it makes the situation more difficult than it is. >> thanks for your comments. now is the time, the gentleman with the camera is waving at me. >> my service -- my question -- how do you think the budget cuts may affect

Today in Washington
CSPAN January 24, 2013 6:00am-9:00am EST

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